Materials used for scleral buckling procedures in retinal detachment repair have evolved from absorbable tissues, including autogenous fascia lata and cadaveric sclera or dura mater, to nonabsorbable synthetic agents such as polyethylene tubing, solid silicone rubber, silicone sponges, and hydrogels. Hydrogels are hydrophilic materials formed from 3-dimensional polymer networks. The most widely used hydrogel is co-poly(methylacrylate-2-hydroxyethyl acrylate), or MIRAgel (MIRA, Waltham, Mass). The forerunner of MIRAgel, MAI, has the same chemical composition. Hydrogels are permeable to water and low-molecular-weight hydrophilic substances. Their ability to absorb and then slowly release water-soluble antibiotics offers an advantage over silicone. Ho et al1 reported that the MAI implant was as effective a buckling element as either solid silicone rubber or silicone sponge. He noted that the degree of swelling of the exoplant could be altered by varying its state of hydration, its softness and elasticity were protective against erosion, and it was less prone
Hwang KI, Lim JI. Hydrogel Exoplant Fragmentation 10 Years After Scleral Buckling Surgery. Arch Ophthalmol. 1997;115(9):1205–1206. doi:10.1001/archopht.1997.01100160375024
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